While we were in Disney World, we decided it was time to do something we’d never done before. The Wild Africa Trek! Indigo and Jade were too young, so while we were doing it, they went off and toured Animal Kingdom with some of Grandma’s friends.
I can honestly say that this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. It was a three hour guided tour where we got to walk over the hippos and alligators, learn some swahili, get really close to some of the animals on the safari, and eat an african inspired lunch.
First we got all suited up and took some pictures.
Then we set off into the wild. First we went through the bird section. While we were there Jess pointed out some birds, and we got a lot of really strange looks. Not that it really bothered me – I’m used to it. My family gets strange looks whether we’re wearing strange gear or not. 😀
After we left the bird enclosure we left the set trail, heading into the woods. Colter told me, “It feels good to be back in gear, walking through the woods again.” I laughed and agreed with him. It was the first time I’d been in a situation like that since Outward Bound, and it was really nice.
We’d been hiking for maybe five minutes when Megan’s voice came over the headset that we were required to wear. She told us that we were nearing the hippo enclosure and told us the rules we had to follow. As we got closer we all unclipped one end of the harness attached to our vests. We handed them to Jess and she clipped us onto the metal rail along the fence, letting us walk past her into the enclosure (once we were securely attached). You can see our “tails” in this photo of us above the hippo enclosure. The vehicle in the background is one of the safari trucks.
One of the hippo experts met us there. He had brought along a bucket of food for the two males that we were going to see, but since they were asleep we didn’t get to watch them eat.
After the hippo guy (I don’t remember his name) answered all of our questions, and there were a lot of them, we moved on. We continued hiking through the woods and along the way, learned some Swahili. Twende (pronounced twenday) means “let’s go”, and that has become a favorite word around here. We also learned Asante Sana, “thank you”, and Karibu Sana, “you’re welcome”.
We made it to the bridges over the river, and it’s a good thing that none of us is afraid of heights.
Because this is the bridge that we were going over. Well, this is one of them.
Did I mention that we were walking right over the alligators? You can see them down below all of us.
Don’t worry though – we were attached to a super strong cable above us by the harness on our vests. Because honestly, who wants to fall into this?
Then you’d get crushed by an alligator’s mouth… oh wait.
KIDDING. That’s just a model they had out there for us to look at. It was surprisingly heavy.
We also got to go into (but above) the alligator pit:
We were so close we were able to see them really well as the alligator expert answered our questions. And because we’re curious, we had a lot of questions.
I think there are 27 alligators at Animal Kingdom.
Our guides -Megan, Jess, and Hilary – were awesome.
Once we were done with the first half of our tour, we took off our harnesses and had our own private truck for the rest of the tour.
We were able to get up close to a lot of the animals and we each had our own pair of binoculars.
The truck would periodically stop so we could get up and look around.
We got to stop at a boma (safe place) in the middle of the Savannah and have our own lunch.
It was African inspired foods and most of it was really good. We all even ate the flower.
This is what the Boma looks like from the Savannah:
After lunch, we got back in our truck to see some more of the animals. Particularly the big cats which the boys love.
See the sleeping lions?
Asante sana, Jess, Megan, and Hilary!
The Wild Africa Trek is expensive, but if you at all enjoy animals and like to ask lots of questions, and get behind the scenes, we all agreed it was absolutely worth it. Definitely one of our best ever Disney memories!